If you want a trail that includes classic New Hampshire pastoral vistas, a smooth and gentle trail and an old-growth forest, than head for Dicey’s Mill Trail on Mt. Passaconaway in Wonalancet, NH. My wife and I recently took our two boys (8 and 5) here for a quick afternoon hike and were impressed by all it had to offer.
To access Dicey’s Mill Trail, park at the Ferncroft Rd. Parking Area. Head back up the parking road and take a right. It seems weird at first, like you’re walking down someone’s dead end street, but this road is actually part of the trail. Along this flat section of road, you will pass large, open fields, farm houses and cabins. A little further down the road, you will come to a gated field. Go around the gate and continue through the field. This will take you to the wooded portion of the trail, which begins to travel alongside a beautiful mountain stream.
As you head into the woods, the trail is uncommonly smooth and the climb is very gradual. The miles flew by for us as we went, enjoying the scenery and forest. After about 1.2 miles, you enter The Bowl Research Natural Area, which is where the trail travels through an old-growth forest. This is a great stretch of trail with many beautiful trees. Unfortunately, our schedule dictated we turn around before traveling much further, and we headed back down the path.
While our outing was cut short, my wife and I plan to return later this summer, sans the kiddos, to travel the remainder of the trail and summit Mt. Passaconaway and Mt. Whiteface, which is easily accessible from Mt. Passaconaway.
From the South – Ferncroft Rd. Parking Area – Take Route 113A to Wonalancet; where the road makes a right angle turn; turn north onto Ferncroft Road (sign is more visible when traveling towards the west). You can’t miss the parking area on the right where there is ample free parking. The trailhead is to the right out of the parking lot and is well marked. An outhouse is available at the parking area.